Yeraltı Notları, 03 Mayıs 2008

Sevgül Uludağ

 

Lack of a deep understanding…

People call from London, Australia, Turkey… A family, who had to flee back in the 60s to Turkey, a Cypriot family, looking for their `missing` father since then, ask for information… People from both sides of the Green Line call to talk, to share, to give meaning to our lives in this meaningless state we are in…

The crows come as I expected them, shouting and fighting over the walnut tree… The cat wants to play with the kurdella of my purple tights – he is so much at peace with himself, not depending on anyone, just coming and going, eating if he finds something, hunting when there is nothing to eat. Every night, carefully he is patrolling the garden for preys – he climbs up the lemon tree, catching a grasshopper or among the dry leaves, searching with his paw for something to catch and play and then eat. The turtles don’t get out of the pond to go round the garden so often now – they sit by the pond, their movements synchronized and always touching each other…

They were two different breeds, two different sub-species so at the beginning there was a lot of mistrust and tension in the pond. `Champion` is from Singapore and `Don Piedro` from Cyprus. Champion was trying to climb on top of Don Piedro, pushing her aside with his young energy, making her dizzy with the quick movements. Champion was restless – he would come and go, he would climb up and jump down, he would try to push Don Piedro around. Don Piedro was terrified but couldn’t catch the young energy so she succumbed and sat under her bridge quietly… It took some years for them to understand that no one was going away – both had to live in this pond and they had to share it. Three years? Four?… But finally, they came to an understanding and now they sit together, during morning hours, very quietly by the pond moving slowly, as the sun moves in the garden. Now they touch each other – sometimes I see the leg of Don Piedro, on the shell of Champion or vice versa… There is harmony amongst them and life is easier in the pond…

At one point, Don Piedro would use her body to block the bridge so Champion would have difficulty getting out of the pond. Don Piedro is twice the size of Champion, so Champion would have to devise ways and make acrobatic movements to be able to get out. But now, they seem okay and they move together, graciously, slowly, having created a pattern of their own.

They are so much like us and so different. In Cyprus, we could not find a way to synchronize our energies. We could not understand that we both need to live on the same island and share our lives. We allow nationalism to rule and listen to superficial agendas, discussions without content, losing the essence of issues and not knowing really which way to go… Even Champion and Don Piedro, without having the ability to speak, could understand that they could share the small pond, that they did not have to fight, that they could both enjoy life in the same space. Without uttering a word, it took them four years to synchronize their body language and create an atmosphere of friendship in the pond, instead of enmity…

But us, we haven’t learnt yet – not from history, not from politics, not from the things we went through in the last 50 years…A deep understanding that we still lack… Which endangers our future together, on this small island…

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